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Recap: Minutemen Top Air Force 5-1 To Close Out Catamount Cup

The Massachusetts Minutemen desperately needed a win.  Losers of five straight and eight of their last nine, UMass was paired with Air Force for the second leg of the Catamount Cup tournament.  The matchup was a favorable one for UMass as the Falcons have also struggled on the season, winning just five games and neck and neck with the Minutemen in the Pairwise and KRACH computer rankings.  As expected, the game played pretty evenly through two periods with UMass taking a 2-1 lead into the final period.  Fans, myself included, were wary of another poor final period by the team but instead the Minutemen were on the right side of a third period goal outburst and ended up getting a very solid and much needed 5-1 win over the Air Force.

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Recap: UMass Stymied by Gillies, Providence in Catamount Cup Opener

Throughout the season Massachusetts hockey games have consistently featured a number of very specific negative aspects.  They’ve differed somewhat between blowout losses and close losses, but there are familiar themes that come into play for each game.  Yesterday was one of those close loss type of games where the team played well at times, seeming close to turning a corner, only to have the same deficiencies hurt them in the end.  Yesterday’s game featured the following familiar themes; hanging with a good team for a couple periods, a Vatrano goal, killer defensive breakdowns at the most inopportune time, and ultimately losing the game because of poor third period play combined with poor special teams.

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